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Master Lock's clean-cut spokesman is Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe

Consumer Reports News: May 16, 2011 12:20 PM

Compared to capturing feral chickens or farming maggots, serving as spokesman for Master Lock isn’t the dirtiest job Mike Rowe has ever attempted. Starting this month the creator and host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe will promote a new line of security products for pickup trucks and vans in exchange for a donation to his foundation, which promotes the trades.

Master Lock is making a “substantial” donation to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which Rowe formed to call attention to the country’s growing skills gap. The foundation funds scholarship programs and other initiatives that support trade-school education. Rowe has even gone to Washington to spread the word about what he calls a looming dearth in skilled labor as today’s experienced tradesmen near retirement.

We wish Rowe success and thank him for the people he features on Dirty Jobs who put our own jobs in perspective on days we feel whiny. But we feel obligated to suggest that he not install one particular Master Lock product, the 5261D we tested, on his San Francisco home. Not even if he gets the $13 lock for free.

That lock, one of two surface-mount models, earned the lowest score of any lock we tested in our recent report. We judged it excellent at resisting efforts to hammer it off, but it was in no way a dirty job for us to kick in, pry, drill, or saw it off. Its resistance score to kicking in did rise to excellent once we replaced the included screws with 3-inch ones that better secured the lock to the door jamb. But the Master Lock was only one of several locks we tested that, as sold, we could easily kick in.

Ed Perratore

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